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Safeguarding the needs of LGBT youth proves challenging.

Research documents the overrepresentation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and gender-nonconforming youth in the juvenile justice system in the United States. 

A joint report released in June 2017 by the Movement Advancement Project, the Youth First Initiative, and the Center for American Progress found that 20 percent of all youth in the juvenile justice system identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, including 3.2 percent of boys and nearly 40 percent of girls.Center for American Progress (CAP), Movement Advancement Project (MAP), and Youth First, Unjust: LGBTQ Youth Incarcerated in the Juvenile Justice System (Denver, CO: MAP, 2017), 2. Of the LBGT or gender-nonconforming youth in facilities, 85 percent are youth of color.Center for American Progress (CAP), Movement Advancement Project (MAP), and Youth First, Unjust: LGBTQ Youth Incarcerated in the Juvenile Justice System (Denver, CO: MAP, 2017), 2.

With increasing awareness of this overrepresentation, juvenile justice systems are looking for ways to improve their policies and practices. This year, Georgetown’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform launched a certificate program on addressing the needs of LGBT youth in juvenile justice.“Supporting LGBTQ Youth,” Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University.